Registering your Illinois LLC (limited liability company) is an exciting first or next step on an entrepreneurial journey.
And we all know that these don’t necessarily come cheap. So it’s best to learn the upfront costs of registering and operating this type of business structure on the shore so that you could budget accordingly.
When starting an LLC in Illinois, you’ll have to mind state fees, business license costs, professional service expenses, among other things.
1. Illinois LLC formation cost: $150+
The centerpiece cost of LLC formation is the state fee for obtaining articles of organization, paid to the Secretary of State.
In Illinois, be prepared to pay the following lump sums for forming an LLC:
- $150 for a (new) domestic LLC (multi-member or single-member).
- $150 for a foreign LLC — the form is called Application for Admission to Transact Business (LLC-45.5).
- $400 for a series LLC.
You can obtain approval of filings or other records from the Illinois Secretary of State’s Department of Business Office. The standard processing time of form LLC-5.5 (articles of organization) is 10 business days.
You also have an option to expedite both the online and in-person filings for articles of organization at either Chicago or Springfield office.
However, there’s an additional $100 fee for expedited service, which has a turn-around time of 24 hours during regular business days.
2. Registered agent fees: $49to $99/year
One of the required forms on the Articles of Organization filing form is a registered agent name and contact details.
The registered agent must be a person (including yourself) residing in the state or a business that is authorized to act as a registered agent in the state of Illinois, such as a registered agent service.
There’s no separate fee for appointing a registered agent. But there are some extra costs involved if you decide to change your registered agent details later on:
- $5 — for filing a Form LLC-1.35 to inform the SOS about registered agent resignation.
- $25 —for filling Form LLC-1.36/1.37, notifying about the changing of registered agent or office.
Note that if a registered agent resigns and your LLC does not submit the Statement of Change of Registered Agent and Registered Office form within 60 days of the resignation, there’s a late fee of $100.
You can also expedite the above two form filings for an extra $50.
Registered agent service fees
You can be your own registered agent if you reside in Illinois and can receive legal documents during regular business hours.
Or you can choose to hire a registered agent service to perform the above duty on your behalf.
It’s preferable when no one resides in Illinois or when no one is available during normal business hours to receive legal papers.
The cost for most registered agent services is about $49-$99 per year in Illinois, although some are over $100.
3 Assumed name registration: $150
An assumed name, also called a DBA, is an add-on to consider when:
- Your LLC has an established separate brand that’s identifiable with its name for marketing purposes.
- Or your LLC’s legal business name is a name you rather not use in business transactions, and you wish to register another name for doing business.
When it comes to the assumed name registration cost, Illinois has a curious fee structure.
Unlike other states, the assumed name cost of $150 is spread over 5 years and billed according to the following scheme:
- For each year or part of it ending in 0 or 5, an initial filing fee of $150 is required.
- If you file during a year ending in 1 or 6, you pay $120 for the name.
- If you take on an assumed name during a year ending in 2 or 7, pay a $90 fee.
- Registrations done in a year ending in 3 or 8 are $60.
- And the cheapest initial fee is $30 for each year or part thereof, ending in 4 or 9.
You can also file for an assumed name renewal at the time of filing an annual report. If you fail to renew your assumed name on time, there’s a $100 late fee.
Finally, if you wish to:
- Change an assumed during the 5-year period, or after it, you’d have to pay an extra $25.
- Canceling an assumed name registration in Illinois costs another $5.
4. LLC name reservation fee: $25
Your LLC needs a fine-sounding business name.
If you already brainstormed one and want to prevent anyone else from using it while preparing other company documents, you can file the Application to Reserve a Name form and pay a $25 fee. Doing so reserves the business name for 90 days.
5. Certified document copies: $25
If your limited liability company needs to obtain certified document copies, unsurprisingly, you have to pay some money yet again.
For a certified copy of good standing, a certified copy of articles of organization, or a certified copy of certain other documents, the fee is $25 (or $75 for expedited service). You can obtain these documents from the Department of Business Services.
6. Business permits and licenses
Depending on your limited liability company’s industry, profession, or location, you may need to obtain legally mandated business licenses and permits.
The requirements vary from one industry to another. But professional services providers and construction businesses are two types of business entities that should pay close attention to the requirements.
Check the official Illinois.gov website on registrations, licenses, and permits on a state level. The website also directs you towards relevant local and county rules. The costs vary depending on the type of license you need and your company office locations.
Finally, all retail businesses, bound to collect and remit sales tax, must register with the Illinois Department of Revenue to obtain a sales tax license. The good news is that this registration is free and can be done online, just like the IRS federal tax registration for an EIN (employer identification number).
Does Illinois have an annual LLC fee? Yes – $75.
The annual report due date is the first day of the LLC registration anniversary month. Meaning, if you registered your Illinois limited liability company on August 15th, 2021, the annual report should be filed by September 1st, 2022.
Failure to file an annual report on time results in a $100 late fee.
Conclusion: How much does an LLC cost in Illinois?
The cost to form an LLC in Illinois starts at $150 for obtaining the Articles of Organization.
You can avoid spending a cent more if you don’t do any “add-on” costs such as a registered agent or LLC formation service fees, assumed name registration, payments for legal advice, or operating agreement templates. Many small businesses and startups often don’t need all of the above.
The annual cost to maintain an LLC in Illinois is $75. Soundly, there are no minimal annual franchise taxes in the state. But you’ll still have to pay personal income taxes in the state.
Other company incorporation costs are variable — business license renewals in Illinois can cost a couple of hundred dollars annually.